Migrant Dreams: Documentary as Cultural Resistance for Social Change
I made a documentary fifteen years ago that I still haven't finished making. I didn't realize this until I starting writing this paper – but its become clearer to me that the process of creating doesn't obey spatial or temporal boundaries. Fifteen years ago I made a documentary about migrant Mexican men working in Canada called El Contrato. It was the first feature documentary I'd ever made. I had no formal training in filmmaking and was largely unfamiliar with documentary as a form. Somehow I made a watchable film and in the subsequent years El Contrato has been used as a tool for discussion and political engagement on migrant worker issues in Canada. With this project, Migrant Dreams, I am able to revisit the political and creative goals of my first film through a self-reflexive process that takes me back to the beginning but with a new set of questions that are explored in this paper.